Weight-loss myths abound, especially when it comes to carbohydrates . One of the most prevalent rumors is that slashing carbs after around 3:00 P.M., so not eating them for an afternoon snack, dinner, or dessert , can help you shed pounds. But can this tactic actually help you achieve healthy, sustainable weight loss? SELF.com tapped three experts to find out, and the truth is, there’s no magical cutoff for when carbs are OK and when they’re weight-loss enemy No. 1. But there are definitely smarter ways to consume carbs that will help, rather than hinder, your weight-loss goals.
First of all, it’s important to realize that “carbs” can mean a lot of things.
Bread and pasta aren’t the only foods that have plenty of carbs. “Carbs are in almost everything, from fruits and vegetables to whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds,” Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Nutrition Starring You , tells SELF. So, giving up all carbs after lunch would be pretty difficult.
The “bad” carbs that are most often associated with weight gain are simple, or refined, carbs. “Refined carbohydrates [like those in white bread and pasta] digest very quickly, so their sugar gets into the bloodstream very quickly as well,” Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist, tells SELF.
Complex carbohydrates , found in whole-grain pasta, whole-grain bread, and fruits and vegetables, often come packed with fiber, which can bulk up food and slow the digestion process. The result is you feel full for a longer time versus if you were to eat simple carbs—and the result of that is that you end up eating less. Hence, whole-grain, high fiber carbohydrates can actually help promote weight loss .
Now, as to the question of eating carbs late in the day: It’s understandable why people think that’s a bad idea, but it’s a fallacy.
There’s the theory that the closer to bedtime you eat carbs, the less time you’ll have to “burn” them off, meaning the carbs will convert into fat as you sleep. That’s a myth, says Talbott. What’s true is that carbohydrates are converted into glucose for energy , and some get stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen , says Talbott. Excess glucose—in other words, sugar that your body isn’t able to use right away or convert into glycogen—can be stored as fat , he explains.
But that’s not a carb problem, that’s a math problem. Eating too much of any food, carbs or otherwise, can result in eating too many calories, and extra calories can get stored as fat.
Plus, sometimes you might need a good dose of carbs in the evening.
If you like to exercise after work, it’s important that you give your body the energy it needs. “Carbs are fuel for your body the way gas is for your car,” Harris-Pincus explains. Having a well-balanced afternoon snack with complex carbs, protein, and fat can help you power through an after-work workout, Drew Ramsey, M.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and author of Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health , tells SELF.
What it really comes down to is that it’s not about when you eat, but about what you eat (and how much of it).
If you’re cutting back on refined carbohydrates after 3:00 P.M. and instead eating whole foods—including complex carbs—that keep you fuller for longer then sure, you could lose weight . But it’s not because you didn’t eat those high-calorie, low-nutrient foods after a certain time of day—it’s because you didn’t eat those high-calorie, low-nutrient foods at all. Cutting refined carbs will help you choose more nutrient-dense options that have fewer calories and tend to make you feel more satiated, says Talbott. That can translate into a calorie deficit , which is necessary when you’re trying to lose weight.
Curbing carbs at night won’t work if your portions are still larger than you need. If you’re not eating balanced, satisfying breakfasts and lunches, you might be tempted to eat more than necessary for dinner, says Harris-Pincus. That can make it harder to lose weight, even if the food you’re eating is lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. “Ideally, you want to build your meals with a healthy balance that includes about half fruits and vegetables, a quarter lean proteins, and a quarter whole grains,” while sticking to serving sizes that are appropriate for your fitness and weight-loss goals, she explains.
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Sana Khan keeps posting beauty tips and tricks on Instagram.
Sana recently posted the recipe to a smoothie for glowing skin.
Parsley is anti-bacterial in nature and prevents acne.
oilet: Ek Prem Katha, and has been quite active in Tamil, Malyalam and Kannada cinema. The actress played a key role in Salman Khan's
Jai Ho in 2014 as well, and she will next appear in
Tom, Dick and Harry 2, which also stars Aftab Shivdasani and Sharman Joshi. The diva is very active on her social media pages, particularly Instagram where she constantly updates her fans about her life.
Sana is also something of a beauty expert, and keeps sharing tips and tricks to keep the skin healthy and glowing. It's not such a surprise, given that the beauty has quite a beautiful skin. Just recently, Sana had posted about a coffee scrub on her Instagram stories, and yesterday, she posted the recipe to a healthy and green smoothie, with ingredients that may help you get a glowing skin. Have a look!
"Smoothie for glowing skin… half avocado, parsley, asparagus, honey, ice and almond milk," Sana wrote on the picture. Avocados are superfoods that are popular with health freaks around the world. The green, creamy and savoury fruit is consumed because of its nutrient-rich profile that mainly consists of healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants. The fats and the antioxidants keep the skin looking young.
Asparagus is also great for the skin as it is extremely rich in vitamin-A – a potent antioxidant that protects the skin against skin damage. Parsley is great for the skin as the herb can cleanse the skin and detoxify the body as well. It also has antibacterial properties and can fight acne and other skin infections. The same goes for honey, which is also anti-bacterial in nature, and it also has anti-ageing properties. Finally, almond milk promotes a younger and healthier looking skin as well, due to the presence of vitamin-E, which fights free radicals.
What we love about this smoothie is that it's healthy, all-natural and is very low on calories too! So, now you know the secret to Sana Khan's ever-glowing, beautiful and clear skin.
Beyond being a great way to rebound post-workout , smoothies seem like the epitome of a healthy snack . They've got fruit, are easy to make on busy days, and are endlessly customizable so you can basically never get bored. But the truth is that even though smoothies definitely can be part of your healthy-eating arsenal , they can also secretly be calorie and sugar bombs. Calorie-laden desserts certainly aren't evil—sometimes it seems like they make life worth living. But it's kind of annoying when you think you're having something healthy that's practically a dessert in disguise, especially if you're attempting to lose weight . Here, eight things you should know about smoothies if you've got a weight-loss goal in mind.
1. Fruit is great for you, but it can also have a lot of calories and sugar—so if you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll want to watch portion sizes.
Even though fruit is healthy, tipping a boatload of it into your blender can be a bad thing. "Fruits' sugars are natural, but they still add up," Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.N., founder of the New York-based BZ Nutrition , tells SELF. Fruit usually contains both fructose and glucose, the latter of which makes up carbohydrates, meaning it gives you energy. Even though fruit doesn't have sucrose, or table sugar, too much of any kind of sugar can turn into fat, and over the long-term, it can potentially predispose you to diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Zeitlin recommends sticking to one serving of fruit per smoothie, which means one cup. That will help you keep your smoothies around 250 calories—much more than that, and you're getting into meal territory.
2. Getting enough fiber is part of building a truly satiating smoothie.
"Fiber is key to staying full for long periods of time, so it wards off unnecessary snacking between meals," says Zeitlin. When your smoothies don't have enough of this essential nutrient, you may start overcompensating with extra fruit or grab a side snack along with your smoothie. To make sure your smoothie comes in at Zeitlin's recommended five to eight grams of fiber, use fruit that still has its skin (the most fiber-rich part), like strawberries, apples, and pears. You can also load up on as many vegetables like kale and spinach as you like.
3. If you skimp on protein, you might find yourself hungry again before it's time for your next meal.
Just like fiber, your smoothie won't be filling if you don't get enough protein. Plus, there's the fact that when you drink instead of chew, it's harder to eat mindfully and help flood your body with satiety cues. That makes getting enough protein extra important—if you don't, you might be hungry and need to eat more later, accidentally taking in more calories than you intended. Zeitlin recommends aiming for around 10 grams of protein per smoothie. Consider adding something like two tablespoons of nut butter, which has around seven grams, or a half-cup of plain Greek yogurt, which has around 12.
4. Fresh and frozen fruit are better options than canned if you're trying to avoid added sugar.
"Canned fruit is sitting in sugar water," says Zeitlin. Instead, turn to fresh or frozen fruit to get your fix. "I'll often use frozen berries in my smoothies because I'm processing them anyway, then eat fresh fruit as snacks," says Zeitlin. And if you're worried that frozen fruit is lacking, don't worry: it's often flash frozen, meaning you won't miss out on nutrients.
5. Sweeteners are perfect when you're looking for a treat, but they can affect your smoothie's calorie count.
Agave. Honey. Maple syrup. Juice. All delicious, to be sure. But they often make your smoothie's calories skyrocket, especially if you're not measuring out your portions. Luckily, they're often not really necessary. "Smoothies should be naturally sweet from the fresh or frozen fruit you're including," says Zeitlin. If you still feel like your smoothies are missing that extra layer of flavor, consider adding spices like cinnamon and nutmeg or a few drops of vanilla extract.
6. Unsweetened milk substitutes have less sugar and calories, so they can be a better choice for weight loss.
Check the label before buying that almond or hemp milk . "Some versions have added sugar, but something like unsweetened vanilla almond milk can actually enhance the fruit's natural sweetness," says Zeitlin.
7. Making smoothies instead of ordering them at health shops is an easy way to keep tabs on exactly what you're drinking.
Trendy smoothie and juice shops are sprouting up all over, and many of them do actually use healthy ingredients. The problem is that unless you're the one making your smoothie, you can't control the portions. Even if they employees are great at ballparking it, you can never be sure of exactly what you're drinking. "The best way to make sure your portions are in check is to make your own smoothies at home," says Zeitlin.
8. If you're buying pre-packaged smoothies, it's a smart idea to analyze the ingredients label.
They often only seem good for you. "Look at the ingredients label, because these usually have way too much sugar in them," says Zeitlin. And those sugars often don't just come from fruits, because packaged smoothies likely have added sugar in them as well. If it seems like the smoothie is mostly vegetables, less than 250 calories, and doesn't have a ton of sugar, check the serving size. "One bottle might have two or three servings," says Zeitlin.